When “green” or freshly cut, cypress sapwood is pale yellow or white, with a heartwood varying in color from light to dark or reddish brown. When milled, cypress displays a predominantly yellow tone, with reddish, olive, and chocolate tones.
Cypress machines well with both hand and power tools, planes easily, and resists warping. Pre-boring at board edges will help prevent splitting. It nails and scores very well. Although cypress is resinous, it glues well, sands easily, and readily accepts finishes.
Machining • • •
Nailing • • • •
Screwing • • • •
Gluing • • •
Finishing • • • •
Cypress should be kiln-dried to the range of 10–12% moisture content. To dry the wettest pieces without over-drying the driest pieces, the SCMA suggests equalizing the EMC in the kiln to 11 percent, which means the driest piece should not be any drier than 11 percent MC. The same guidelines can apply to air drying cypress, which may take a period of several months, depending on local weather conditions. In any case, the moisture contents outlined above should be followed to minimize concerns about splitting, warping and other potential failures related to excess moisture.